PUBLISHED BY THE RAI AMSTERDAM EUROPAPLEIN 2-22 1078 GZ AMSTERDAM THE NETHERLANDS
Anders la Cour Co-founder & CEO Banking Circle
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ROUTE TO THE FUTURE
Nick Og den
Founder@ RTGS Glo bal
u o y See
n i n i a ag
11 - 14 J U LY 2022 S TAY T U N E D F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N AT W W W. F I N T E C H W E E K . LO N D O N
WELCOME TO EUROPE
After the disappointment of last year’s postponement, Money 20/20 Europe is back. The industry's leading financial services and fintech influencers have descended on Amsterdam to reconnect, share perspectives and spark innovation and opportunities for growth.
From 21 to 23 September, Money 20/20 will bring together a community of leaders to discuss new and disruptive ways to move, manage, spend and borrow money. The Fintech Times is delighted to deliver this Money 2020 Europe Special Edition supplement, featuring insightful commentary from the most influential players in financial technology, including some of the
exciting speakers we’ll be hearing from during the three days at RAI Amsterdam. On page 18, Sam Seaton, CEO of leading open finance platform Moneyhub, shares her views on why open data world is not just great news for consumers but also for the financial services industry. While over on page 19, Nick Ogden, founder and executive director of interbank liquidity network RTGS, provides valuable insight into how digital
currencies will play an inevitable role in the future of international banking and why CBDCs are core to the future of financial stability. We also hear from Charles McManus, CEO at UK clearing bank ClearBank, on the enablement of multi-currency and how the ability to transact internationally connects both enterprises and individuals around the world. As well as putting the spotlight on the latest
developments in payments, banking, fintech and financial services, this year the Money 20/20 organisers promise a completely ‘reimagined show’ that delivers ‘extraordinary, immersive experiences that fuel serendipitous connections and conversations with your future collaborators and customers’. We can’t wait to join the ride...
We are shaping the future of fintech. Welcome home. There's more than 220 great speakers at this year's show, here's just a small selection to whet your appetite...
Global ambassador CONSULT HYPERION
Chief Innovation Officer SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE
Chief Executive Officer MONEYHUB
CEO & Co-Founder SALT EDGE
CEO & Founder CURVE
Global Head of Data & Advanced Analytics, Client Solutions BBVA
Executive Chairwoman SANTANDER GROUP & PAGONXT
Head of Division, Future of Money BANK OF ENGLAND
Head of International PLAID
Director of BA Operations TRUSTLY
Director, Product Inclusion PAYPAL
Chief Product Officer N26
Director of Government Affairs AMERICAN EXPRESS
VP, Social Impact Europe VISA
Founder & Executive Director RTGS GLOBAL LTD
CEO & Co-Founder PASSFORT
IANA DIMITROVA CEO OPENPAYD
Chief Platform Officer BARCLAYS
Global Open Banking Lead, Advisors MASTERCARD
Chief Executive Officer CLEARBANK
Director, Payments Intelligence ACI WORLDWIDE
BANKING CIRCLE: FUTURE TRENDS
WHAT’S KEEPING CIOs CIO s AWAKE AT NIGHT? There’s no question that the last 18 months have proved challenging for businesses across all sectors. For the financial services industry, which generally underpins global commerce, an acceleration in digitalisation plans – essential to support the new remote operating model required during the pandemic – was undoubtedly the big hurdle. But having bridged that successfully, for many organisations the question now is how to move forward positively, profitably and with a clear focus on the customer experience. The role of the chief technology officer (CTO) and chief information officer (CIO) in this context is vital. Banking Circle has, therefore, investigated what is keeping
provided insights into the challenges they currently face. Let’s talk about the findings.
By Anders la Cour, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Banking Circle this group of professionals awake at night. CTOs and CIOs at banks, fintechs and payment service providers (PSPs) across the UK, DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) regions were surveyed. Informing an upcoming industry whitepaper, the research
Reflecting the current global uncertainty, just a third (33.7 per cent) of the payments and banking sector CIOs that Banking Circle spoke to felt ‘very confident’ that their organisations are fit for purpose for the future in terms of investigation and procurement of new systems. Extreme confidence was lower still across other areas of responsibility, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), data security, new systems migration and training. However, in all areas of responsibility more CIOs reported that they are ‘fairly’
or ‘very’ confident, than ‘not at all’ or ‘not very’ confident. Confidence was generally somewhat higher for CIOs of PSPs and fintechs than for those working for banks; perhaps reflecting the innovative foundations of PSPs and fintechs, compared to legacy tech often encountered by those working in banks. This was underlined by the fact that the area in which the greatest difference between the confidence of banks and fintechs was existing systems maintenance and upgrading; 25 per cent of banks said they are ‘very confident’ compared to 37 per cent of fintechs.
INVESTING IN CONFIDENCE When asked how investment plans have changed since
the start of the pandemic, respondents confirmed that planned investment has increased in all areas of responsibility. And the main factors driving increased investment were the need to offer a superior customer experience, as well as being able to compete effectively.
TO BUY OR BUILD? To meet these objectives, respondents plan to spread their budgets across a number of payment technology solutions, utilising a mixture of buying and building. Two thirds of all respondents are planning to ‘build’ payments tech in-house, and the same number plan to ‘buy’ off the shelf. A similar number (65 per cent) intend to outsource or utilise partnerships. It is perhaps unsurprising, given the delays legacy infrastructure can cause, that banks are most likely to buy off-the-shelf (71 per cent) and PSPs and fintechs are most likely to build solutions in house (70 per cent). Fintechs are also slightly more likely than banks to work with external partners (66 per cent, compared to 64 per cent of banks). When it comes to motivation for partnering with external providers, fintechs are driven by competition, business strategy and revenue potential, whereas banks cited overcoming resource limitations, customer service and business strategy as their main drivers. A new trend was reported recently, wherein banks are selling their payments operations because they cannot reach the scale necessary to compete with the
specialists. Many are choosing to partner with, instead of own, payments companies. Utilising the right third-party collaboration opportunities allows banks to provide the best solutions, at scale. This means banks gain the benefit of competing effectively, without the usual investment in overhauling infrastructure.
FUTUREPROOFING FINANCIAL SERVICES Ensuring a business is viable, profitable and able to compete successfully is important for long-term success, but that alone will not guarantee the business will prosper as the market landscape shifts underfoot. Solutions and systems must be flexible enough to rapidly switch to meet new market needs. A vital step on that journey is moving to the Cloud.
Solutions and systems must be flexible enough to rapidly switch to meet new market needs For Banking Circle, being Cloud-based enables solutions to be tweaked, improved or replaced, with individual elements quickly updated without impacting the rest of our platform or other solutions. Therefore, we can adapt to new needs, whether that is updating an existing solution or building an entirely new product from the ground-up. But, according to our research, banks and fintechs still have a surprisingly long way to go before they are Cloud-based and able to benefit from the same
flexibility. Fifty-six per cent of respondents said that at least half of their IT systems and payment systems are currently in the Cloud. Of course, this is an area that involves a huge investment from the bank or fintech so this level of migration so far may not be surprising. Working with a Cloud-based partner to solve this issue can be a more cost-effective way to future-proof the business by moving systems to the Cloud quickly, without rebuilding the bank or fintech’s entire infrastructure.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ROUTE TO THE FUTURE When asked about their priorities for the next year, the most common high priority was improving data quality (43.7 per cent). This was closely followed by migrating to digital delivery of services (43 per cent) and improving the customer experience (42.2 per cent). The biggest internal challenges standing in their way are a lack of integration with customer-facing departments (49 per cent), a lack of data consistency between internal systems (45 per cent), and a lack of consistency across countries' operations (44.5 per cent). Clearly data consistency and systems integration are areas that need to change, and partnerships with external providers could help resolve these issues quickly and simply. In terms of external challenges, the most common across all respondents was the inconsistent regulations across geographies (30.5 per cent), another area where a
partnership with the right provider can help.
BUT WHAT’S KEEPING THEM AWAKE AT NIGHT? For fintech CIOs, the main issues are tech outages (13 per cent), the issue of staff skills (12.7 per cent) and staying up to date with market developments (11.7 per cent). For banks, the main cause of sleepless nights was digital transformation projects (17.3 per cent), followed by getting internal support for tech investment and staff skills (14.7 per cent each). Digital transformation projects are not just causing problems for banks, they are also keeping fintech CIOs up. Working in partnership with external providers, such as Banking Circle, can spread the load and ease the burden on CIOs. Financial institutions are currently working on rapidly transforming their businesses and digitalising their services. Within a partnership, a payments bank or financial utility can take on a lot of the heavy lifting and reduce stress on any one individual or team.
About Banking Circle
Banking Circle is a payments bank and next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure, leading the rise of a super-correspondent banking network. Web: www.bankingcircle.com LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/bankingcircle Twitter: @BankingCircle
It’s about more than security – it’s about delivering amazing innovation There’s a truism that becomes attached to security conversations: If security is important, then more security must be better. Unfortunately, by believing that statement, we make our lives unnecessarily hard At Verimatrix, we know we provide industry-leading levels of security. The countless penetration tests (pentests), security certified solutions, never mind the decade’s worth of real-world proof points, tells us so. It’s not what drives us, though. What motivates our teams is making that proven security accessible to our customers, so they have a solid foundation to deliver amazing innovation. Security is always a means to an end. When it comes to mobile app protection, that ‘end’ can take many and multiple shapes; from protecting customer data through hardening the whole ecosystem to achieving security certification compliance. Understanding that end goal and the risks you are trying to mitigate defines the security you are going to need. Each fintech app is unique. Often with their own personality and different take on providing financial services. Even when they appear superficially similar, they will be built to a different architecture. What connects
them all, though, is that they handle sensitive personal and financial information. If they weren’t operating on each individual customer’s own data, what value would these apps bring? This flow of personal and financial data needs to be handled in a highly secure manner. There are compliance considerations under financial regulations and privacy laws, such as PSD2 and GDPR. Perhaps even more critical, fintechs must consider that customer trust – the cornerstone of their business – can be quickly destroyed by a data breach.
Good security solutions provide a base to build value Even a simple, informal data flow mapping exercise will quick reveal the sensitive data that is flowing through a fintech app. The end goal should be to keep that data from falling into the wrong hands with minimum impact on the user experience or on the developers tasked with delivering that experience. Verimatrix research shows that
TLS (transport layer security) is universally used in banking and fintech apps; but security means more than encrypting the channel. It means authenticating the endpoints (guarding against man-in-the-middle attacks) and ensuring that these endpoints can’t be compromised (protecting against man-in-the-device attacks). Modern mobile apps are complex. That means there is always a guaranteed vulnerability. It is impractical to the point of impossible to track down and close off each one. Even if you could, the app would still be vulnerable to reverse engineering and cloning. Instead, Verimatrix recommends that fintechs take a practical and proactive approach of shielding their apps. This doesn’t replace good coding practices, but it does mean that the integrity of your app will be maintained, keeping guaranteed vulnerabilities secret along with sensitive data. Verimatrix solutions have been proven through lab pentests and deployed in hundreds of millions of apps – that’s why we’re trusted by the
largest financial institutions and payment networks in the world. Just as important as the ultimate security level a product offers, is how accessible that security is. The easier a solution is to integrate, configure and maintain (that last one is very important and often forgotten) the more you’ll get out of it. Not only will you get a higher level of security, it means your teams will have more time to spend working on developing new features and building value into your business. Verimatrix takes great pride that, for many of our customers, app protection becomes ‘security-as-usual’, while the impact on their teams is minimal. Ultimately, this is the key point. Security shouldn’t be a burden. Good security solutions provide a base to build value.
About Verimatrix Website: www.verimatrix.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/ verimatrixinc LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/verimatrix
Security Securitythat that shields shieldsyour yourapps apps and andyour yourrevenue? revenue? Amazing. Amazing.
Deliver Deliveramazing amazing See Seehow howatatverimatrix.com/deliver-amazing-fintech/ verimatrix.com/deliver-amazing-fintech/
WHY WE NEED CLOUD-BASED PAYMENTS PROCESSING The necessity of Cloud for scaling in modern times Payment processing is the latest substantial battleground on which challenger and enterprise banks are competing. The size of the global real-time payments market was valued at $10.64billion in 2020, with compound annual growth of 33 per cent expected between 2021 and 2028. Banks’ success in scaling up their payment processing in response will vary, relying heavily on how they set up their systems. Cloud-based payments processing is really the only viable option that enables financial institutions to build the level of flexibility required at low cost and low risk in order to remain competitive in an increasingly digitised, responsive space. By 2025,
PwC predicts eight out of 10 financial services institutions will have outsourced Cloud and platform infrastructure. But what do we mean by dynamic scaling in payments? How are fintech specialists enabling banks of all sizes to respond to the race for real-time payments faster than ever before, and how can financial institutions assess what they should look for in a Cloud payment processing partner? Broadly speaking, dynamic scaling in payments is the process by which payment volumes (or number of transactions) are accommodated flexibly. Capacity is always met with the optimal level of technical support, ensuring that systems remain as efficient as possible, with financial institutions only paying for the processing power they use. Cloud-based payment platform infrastructure is especially attractive for financial institutions that have
struggled to streamline, maintain and upgrade legacy infrastructure: systems they built themselves which have proven ill-equipped to deal with changing market environments and rapidly accelerating technology. It takes a long time to provision hardware. In the current climate, lead times on buying and installing servers and network equipment are nine to 12 months. That means that you need to know for sure (or overprovision) what your peak capacity is going to be in 12 months, while hoping that you don’t scale faster than you expect, or your business requirements don’t change.
WHY IS CLOUD-BASED PAYMENTS PROCESSING SO ESSENTIAL? Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, more people than ever have opted to use contactless cards to pay for goods and services. While account-to-account
transactions, enabled through open banking and global instant payments services, creates another pressure point for payment processing. Banks and financial institutions must adapt if they are to cope with substantial increases in payment volumes but also more effectively and efficiently handle the inevitable peaks and troughs of transaction flows across multiple timescales. For example, there are far more transactions in the middle of the day compared to the middle of the night. There is far more flow at month ends (salary payments), and Black Fridays, for example, are much busier than other times of the year. Therefore, if you don’t have flexible scaling, you must cater for your peak of peak volume, which can be several times your normal volume.
PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY Financial institutions have a sporadic range of digital
About Form3 HOW FINTECH PROVIDERS HELP BANKS TO SCALE priorities to manage. As the nerve centre of the global economy, the time, resources and capacity of internal teams have consequences far beyond their company’s individual financial performance. Partnering with fintech specialists can take the burden of highly complex Cloud-based payment processing off their shoulders, providing them with solid foundations for future payment scalability.
Fintech specialists, such as Form3, enable financial institutions to dynamically scale their payments processing capacity, horizontally and vertically to limitless volumes without affecting performance. As their focus is entirely on delivering the best real-time, Cloud-based payment processing, they ensure banks have more than enough capacity at any given moment. Automation ensures that adequate bandwidth is always supplied, as platforms like
Form3 respond and react automatically whenever financial institutions approach their current capacity, the platform knows to increase space, averting overloading. Financial institutions can spend more time innovating to create new products and services, helping them to encourage customer loyalty, and less on infrastructure maintenance and updates. Dynamically responding to surges and falls in payment volumes will help businesses take advantage of the operational and cost efficiencies gained from a Cloud-based solution in which you only pay for what you use.
Form3 designs, builds and runs the technology that powers the future of payments. Founded In 2016, Form3 set out to revolutionise the world of payment processing and disrupt the traditional payment infrastructure model, with an always on, Cloud-native, payments-asa-service platform. Form3 is trusted by some of UK and Europe’s biggest Tier1 banks and fastest-growing fintechs. Website: www.form3.tech LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/form3-financial-cloud Twitter: @f3fincloud
FROM REGS TO RICHES The evolution of identity verification in the modern economy
Identity verification has made considerable strides in recent years as it continues to evolve alongside the modern economy. From loan applications to opening bank accounts, cryptocurrency trading and more, identity verification plays a pivotal role in building trust among businesses and their customers.
With the transformation of digital fraud, identity theft requires a more sophisticated plan to pull off successfully. To prevent this, data networks continue to become more robust and now include unique identifiers for credit data, email, phone numbers, governmentissued ID numbers and more.
Identity verification is an essential requirement in most processes today, both online and offline. With blue ocean opportunities on the horizon as technology, risks and threats continue to evolve, it’s easy to overlook the magnitude of influence identity verification has in our daily interactions. As we continue to set our sights on emerging opportunities, here are the top 10 reasons financial institutions need to evolve with identity verification.
From the first state-wide automated palmprint database in 2004 to Apple including fingerprint scanners in smartphones in 2013, biometrics continues to be a buzzword in the identity verification industry. As the latest development in identity verification, biometrics offers the ability to verify users through geolocation, fingerprints, or facial recognition. Backed by an unbeatable level of security when it comes to mitigating identity theft, it should come as no surprise that forward-thinking businesses are looking to implement this feature as part of their onboarding services.
is 1 Identity always changing Prior to the mass adoption of technology and the digital lifestyle, impersonation was conducted through physical means, such as a stolen wallet or identification card. As such, the main unique identifiers at the time mostly focused on name, address, date of birth and social security.
2 Advancements in biometrics
in 3 Increases identity theft As data breaches and cyberattacks continue to rise year over year, there’s a constant threat of fraud and identity risk. With financial firms being 300
times more likely to be a target than other institutions, customers need to be able to trust that the organisations they’re doing business with are ensuring that their personal identifiable information (PII) will be protected.
4 Consumer-centric approach to identity verification With the introduction of digital banks and financial services, consumers are no longer restricted to the services that are available in their neighbourhoods. With more competition and options to choose from, consumers can afford to be selective as they become more security-conscious and look for frictionless onboarding processes with improved protection. Previously seen as a pain point in the user experience, financial institutions are beginning to embrace their identity verification process to apply a more consumer-centric strategy. This can yield favourable results as businesses can achieve reduced friction and increased security while fostering better customer relationships. account 5 Digital creation abandonment Based on recent research from Deloitte, it was revealed that at
least 38 per cent of customers drop out of the onboarding process, often as a result of frustration with the sheer volume of touchpoints and paperwork involved. With a much-needed balance between attracting, retaining and growing customers, financial institutions should be looking to leverage passive and active security features to help facilitate frictionless and secure onboarding.
approach 6 Multi-layered to authentication for heightened security To help stop criminals in their tracks, multi-factor authentication provides a layered defence to make unauthorised access of accounts, data and devices more difficult. For financial institutions, this requires the ability to access extensive data sources that are fast, reliable and accurate. to more 7 Access reliable data sources As the most important factor in regulatory compliance and risk mitigation, identity verification is only as reliable as the data sources behind it. Fortunately, through partnerships with organisations like Trulioo, financial institutions can have access to more data sources than ever before with 400
As technology improves, regulations evolve and customers want better service, financial institutions need to leverage verification services that will fit their business needs now and in the future data sources for more than 80 countries and access to active mobile network operator data.
increases 8 Continued in digital growth With more than 14 billion active mobile devices worldwide, more people than ever before have the potential to access the digital economy. As digital services continue to evolve and expand, digital identities are crucial in creating fairness, transparency, and trust. However, they will first need to be established to be granted access.
users requires 9 More efficient processes Aspects of identification and verification may be ever-changing but financial institutions must consider streamlining their processes to keep up with the changing
times. This kind of responsiveness will allow financial institutions to properly scale their operations while mitigating emerging threats and risks and remaining compliant with evolving regulations and compliance requirements.
resource 10 Minimise strain with one-stop verification solutions As technology improves, regulations evolve and customers want better service, financial institutions need to leverage verification services that will fit their business needs now and in the future. By using solutions to automate efficiencies, organisations can adopt a customisable and strategic approach to identity verification that will help reduce costs over time and offer a better experience to customers.
PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD WITH YOUR IDENTITY VERIFICATION SOLUTION Identity verification technology holds the key to helping financial institutions onboard customers in an efficient and safe manner. By leveraging the latest in today’s technology, organisations can ensure they remain compliant and onboard quickly while reducing fraud. In turn, this forward-thinking approach will build customer loyalty through a good first impression that makes them feel safe and secure. Learn more about how you can futureproof your compliance and fraud prevention systems with advanced digital identity verification. Visit Trulioo at Money20/20 booth B123 near the Connections Lounge.
About Trulioo Trulioo offers the most robust and comprehensive global identity verification solution in the market. Through one single portal/API, Trulioo can assist you with all your AML/KYC identity verification requirements by providing secure access to over five billion identities worldwide. The Trulioo mission of trust, privacy and inclusion is about recreating the trust of a village, but on a global scale. We are on a mission to make sure no one is left behind and everyone participates fully in the modern digital economy. Website: www.trulioo.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.
com/company/trulioo Twitter: @trulioo
E-ESTONIA: DIGITAL JOURNEY
ESTONIA STANDS OUT AS A GLOBAL CENTRE OF FINTECH EXCELLENCE The boldest players at your fingertips: trendsetting companies from the most digitally advanced nation Named the most advanced digital society in the world, Estonia has built an efficient, secure and transparent ecosystem where 99 per cent of government services are online. This digital-first approach to how things should work also applies to the finance world. Estonia is virtually cashless, with more than 99 per cent of financial transactions happening digitally. Financial solutions here are known for being highly innovative, user-friendly and reliable. That’s because Estonia as a whole, as well as its financial technology sector in particular, have had close to 30
years to build a high-level financial system from scratch, fuelled by a uniquely entrepreneurial and tech-savvy environment that has, among other things, given rise to more unicorn startups per capita than any other country in the world. Whether you seek innovation, reliable engineering or an operational hub within the EU regulatory framework, Estonia is a smart, agile location for fintech businesses. Our digital environment is supporting rapid innovation, development and launch of solutions. Estonia aims to be one step ahead with innovation and boasts a full digital ecosystem, world-class cybersecurity and first commercial 5G networks available. Modern e-solutions make setting up and running a business in Estonia quick and easy. Estonian solutions like digital signatures, electronic tax claims, e-Business Register or the availability of public records online have pared bureaucracy down to a bare minimum and
facilitated an environment where business is easy. Today, Estonia’s ever-evolving fintech sector is poised to help set the trend for Europe and beyond. At Money20/20 this September, meet the Estonian fintech innovators making money move smarter:
The tailored core banking software solution for professional credit providers We cover consumer and SME financing as well as deposits, secured and payday lending, from instalment to invoice finance throughout the entire credit life cycle. Modular software, desired add-ons and operational customisation are the key points of our full infrastructure implementation, making sure that your new systems’ ecosystem performs. bankish.eu
Cloud-based payment gateway platform that helps banks and
acquirers save time, resources and costs on digital payment product development EveryPay offers the same features as the leading third party PSPs and helps to secure more merchants, increase revenues and manage acquiring risks effectively. We support debit and credit card payments, Open Banking API based payments and alternative payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal. every-pay.com
The leading pan-European marketplace facilitating property-backed loans for SMEs and carefully selected investment opportunities We are developing a digital and borderless ecosystem for real estate financing and investing in Europe and beyond. By connecting different service providers, SMEs and investors into one single marketplace, we can offer something unique that other financial institutions
cannot: a seamless, cross-border and digital service for borrowers and investors. estateguru.co
Flexible online KYC & identity verification service We help businesses verify identities and streamline the customer onboarding processes. Our highly customisable solution includes ID document verification (8000+ ID documents and 220+ countries covered), face matching, liveness test, AML screening, proof of address. The GetID Verification Flow Builder enables clients to quickly configure user onboarding journeys and choose integration options. Some of our clients include Admirals, Decta, GetaPro and WeTrading. GetID is a part of Checkin.com Group AB. getid.com
Inbank is a consumer finance and pay later focused digital bank seamlessly merging financing with shopping We offer our tech-driven financing solutions to more than 500,000 active retail customers through a unique distribution network of 4,300+ merchants. Since its inception in 2011, Inbank has financed more than €1billion worth of purchases. Ranked in the FT1000 annual list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies, Inbank employs 270+ people in seven offices across the Baltics and CEE. Inbank bonds are listed on the Nasdaq Baltic Stock Exchange. inbank.ee
Smart and reliable messaging API services for fintechs across the globe We help fintech businesses reach out to anyone with a
mobile phone. We are trusted by companies like Monese, Paysera, LHV and Ferratum Bank on their business-critical messaging needs, including transactional notifications, user authentication and SMS marketing. Our focus is on the highest possible quality for both delivery and customer service. With the help of Messente’s account managers, you can rest assured that all regulations are met and messages delivered. messente.com
Next generation core banking technology provider that enables banks, fintechs and any non-financial company to rapidly bring new financial services and products to the market Modularbank’s API-first and Cloud-agnostic core banking platform consists of independent modules that cover all retail and business banking functions such as accounts, lending, payments, deposits, assets and collaterals, financial accounting, cards. Via a flexible ‘pick and choose’ approach, companies can select the exact capabilities they need in order to roll out tailored financial services to their customers. Founded in 2019 by five Estonian financial IT pioneers and entrepreneurs with decades of experience in the banking industry, Modularbank currently employs more than 60 people in Tallinn, Berlin and Malaga. modularbank.co
Piixpay offers multiple ways for businesses and merchants to accept crypto as a payment method with instant EUR payouts We are a fully KYC/AML compliant and EU regulated Estonian fintech company,
offering instant crypto-to-fiat payment solutions. Our payment service supports different e-commerce platforms with plugins and API's. New: tailored WL solutions for B2B sector. piixpay.com
A smart anti-money laundering (AML) platform that helps financial companies prevent financial crime more efficiently For fast-growing fintechs, we offer a one-stop-shop, transaction monitoring, sanction screening and KYC risk scoring, all in one place. For a more established enterprise we help to cut down costs and investigation time by automating 80 per cent of all sanctions screening related manual work. With our collaboration platform AML Bridge banks can get access to third-party AML intelligence and communicate with other banks in their network to help cut out criminals abusing the financial system. We are already trusted by both fintechs and banks (LHV, SunFinance, Kroo, TrueLayer, Rewire) in 10 European countries. salv.com
International e-identity solutions We have provided electronic identity services to the government and banking sector for 20 years. Leading experts and decades of experience allow us to deliver cutting edge solutions compliant with the latest EU regulations and directives. Our latest innovation Smart-ID is a true trusted cross-border digital identity from which benefit already over 3 million users from 39 countries.With cross-border digital identity users leverage from using it in different e-services of different countries. smart-id.com
Powering the digital transformation of financial services Union FinTech's vision is a fully automated financial service. Together, we create an innovative solution for you to digitally transform your financial service. Your solution will be digitally enabled, meaning real-time, multi-channel, API-enabled and a well-scalable Cloud-based solution. Customers choose Union FinTech because of its long experience and state-of-the-art technology open to APIs, automated decisions and workflows, easy customisable products, Cloud-hosted, real-time and customer-centric focus. unionfintech.com
Veriff is a global online identity verification company that enables organisations to build trust with their customers through automated online IDV Our intelligent decision engine can analyse thousands of technological and behavioural variables in seconds, matching people to more than 9,500 government-issued IDs from more than 190 countries. We serve a global portfolio of organisations across the fintech, crypto and mobility sectors. Our total funding to date is $92.8million, including a Series B funding round of $69million in April. Investors include Y Combinator, Mosaic Ventures, Nordic Ninja, Accel and IVP. veriff.com The project is funded by European Regional Development Fund. Join us on a digital journey e-estonia.co
MONEYHUB: OPEN BANKING
OPEN FINANCE IS JUST THE BEGINNING The world is opening up, and I’m not speaking about the end of Covid-19 lockdowns. While our personal universes may have shrunk over the past 18 months, in the spheres of finance and technology, long-standing restrictions are being lifted. I have been privileged to have a front row seat to the development of open banking, which has been one of the most consequential updates of financial services in decades. Moneyhub was involved from the start as the only nonbanking member of the working group that created the financial API specification standard used by the nine largest banks in the UK to comply with PSD2. But that was just the beginning, both for API-based finance and Moneyhub’s commitment to it. From the outset we saw that open banking’s mantra of allowing consumers access to their data held by their bank or building society and permitting that data to be used by authorised third parties has a wide range of impactful applications beyond banking.
OPEN FINANCE That’s why we built a leadingedge open finance platform where companies can access everything from their bank
in providing our clients open finance data connections, intelligence and payments through our APIs and white label solutions.
By Sam Seaton, CEO at Moneyhub accounts and credit cards to property valuations, pensions and investments (both advised and non-advised). This comprehensive overview is a unique feature of the Moneyhub platform.
NEW PROPOSITIONS Open finance enables any company to build propositions with their customers' entire financial world. This is vital for convenient, highly personalised digital solutions for traditional products and services such as mortgage advice, and it also enables brand new propositions that were not previously possible and that are rapidly changing consumer expectations. Examples include being able to know your customers’ unique carbon footprint to enable more climate-informed decision-making or being able to provide ‘you may also like’ without having to guess. At Moneyhub we take pride
REGULATORY MANDATE Though open finance does not benefit from the regulatory mandate open banking has, we don’t see that as an impediment. In fact, given the legislation in place for open banking will be extended over the next few years to cover areas such as pensions, we see a very bright future for open finance. To play my part in making that future a reality, I joined the Steering Group of the Investment and Savings Alliance’s (TISA) Open Savings, Investments and Pensions (OSIP) initiative, which is intended to help develop standards and accessible APIs for open finance, and I am also a Steering Group member of the Pensions Dashboards Programme.
OPEN DATA Open finance extends the principles of third-party data access found in open banking, and continuing down that path we envisage a world of open data that spans nonfinancial industries too. In fact, we are convinced this progression is inevitable.
Open data refers to sharing consumer data on everything from energy consumption to mobile phone usage to develop new products that traverse industries. McKinsey says its advantages could include even more accurate credit risk evaluation, better customer service and stronger fraud protection. An open data world is not just great news for consumers but also for the financial services industry. Having built the expertise in enabling data sharing via secure connections, companies like Moneyhub are well positioned to become the trusted core for the orchestration of data and payment flows between industry players.
FINANCIAL WELLNESS Of course, what motivates me is not just the exciting revenue streams afforded by embedded finance, but the enormous contribution it can make to financial wellness and planning. The road ahead might have a few potholes to navigate, but it is open and clear for all to use.
About Moneyhub Website: www.moneyhub enterprise.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/ company/moneyhub-enterprise Twitter: @MoneyhubEnterpr
CBDCsANDBEYOND Delivering the international payments infrastructure of the future
Over the past 12 months there has been increasing speculation about the role of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) as a possible solution to the friction associated with today’s global financial system. CBDCs are essentially a digital form of money – which isn’t exactly new. All they are, is the ability to transact using digital value which is exactly what we worked on in 1994 when I invented the first real-time e-commerce payment system. There is however an obvious need for a more direct, transparent and efficient payments system today that works both domestically and internationally. One that offers greater flexibility, liquidity and security, while reducing the cost of transactions and making the settlement process much faster. Financial systems need to deliver the speed and efficiency of all the other digital systems we already use. If we had to wait three days for a response from a search engine the whole rationale of the internet would fail. Adding to this already obvious need, the pandemic has accelerated our move to digital, as cash use has declined dramatically due to necessity. This is therefore the perfect time to explore CBDCs as part of a new international payments system, fit for the modern world, where I see their role as core to the future of financial stability.
A BROKEN SYSTEM Today’s international payments system is fundamentally flawed:
Nick Ogden, Founder at RTGS Global it’s just not digital. Progress is impeded by a core inefficiency: the lack of straight through processing for wholesale interbank transactions. In 2020, the G20 made enhancing cross-border payments a priority, recognising the need for a faster, cheaper, more efficient and transparent cross-border payments network to benefit people around the world.
network, free from the shackles of legacy-based architecture, which can be shared between central and commercial banks and is capable of processing transactions at scale. The role of CBDCs within this wholesale environment is to reduce risk – exactly the risk that caused the last global financial crisis. New market infrastructure enables digital currency use that is fit for purpose. This technology is accessible and offers the requirement to execute bona fide, and immutable, transactions. Fiat digital currencies are already in use at a consumer level. The deployment of retail CBDCs should not occur until the international wholesale
Today’s international payments system is fundamentally flawed: it’s just not digital The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and Committee on Payments and Market infrastructure (CPMI) subsequently set out a roadmap for change, outlining the key challenges to be overcome: high costs, low speed, limited access and insufficient transparency. These points of friction can collectively be attributed to a legacy international payments system that has seen limited evolution over many decades. We now have an opportunity to build a new system that is fit not only for today’s needs, but for the future as well. National (fiat) digital currencies will play an inevitable role in the future of international banking as a whole and must therefore be factored in from the start. So, what does this new system look like? We need a Cloud-based
market challenges have been resolved. This time can be spent addressing the increased risk of cybercrime which we already see in cryptocurrency networks. These must be managed and mitigated by banks, with appropriate protection built into consumer platforms by design. Balancing security and privacy is essential to encourage end users to trust digital currencies. To avoid further friction and ensure convenience, new CBDC payment rails must also integrate seamlessly with existing processes. The roll out of CBDCs must therefore have a phased approach. By resolving the core global infrastructure, we will be able to deploy highly relevant upgrades to the retail environment. There are also wider structural changes needed to eliminate
the challenges identified by the FSB and CPMI, which are inherent in the current crossborder payments network. Whilst the FSB addressed the network issues, they still need to address the core. These are the central national RTGS platforms that are often operated within a legacy, non-digital environment. With today’s disconnected infrastructure, messaging and liquidity are largely disconnected, creating a complex and opaque settlement process. The result is that international payments are slow and expensive, with settlement risk remaining a concern. All of this can be resolved today through the implementation of bilateral atomic settlement against validated liquidity to enable instant settlement, where the digital value elements can be fiat or CBDC and completely interoperate. For too long, countries and people worldwide have suffered due to aging international financial processes and infrastructure, unfit for the modern age. We are finally on the cusp of change and have an opportunity to create a new system. If we have learnt anything from the previous global financial crises and the ongoing pandemic, let’s make sure we use this time to make key market changes in the right order.
RTGS is a global interbank liquidity network and operates with central and commercial banks. Website: www.rtgs.global LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/rtgs-limited
ACI WORLDWIDE: PAYMENTS
REQUEST TO PAY: THE DEFINITIVE WIN-WIN SOLUTION THE MESSAGING SERVICE THAT IMPROVES CUSTOMER PAYMENTS EXPERIENCE WHILE BRINGING OPERATIONAL AND RISK BENEFITS
Real-time payments systems are now live in 27 markets around the world, although use cases and adoption levels vary in different markets. In Europe, digital payments are already outperforming cash usage and real-time payments will reach 25 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2025, according to ACI’s Prime Time for Real Time research. With real-time payments well established in Europe, merchants and acquirers must now look to the world for inspiration to create new services that will drive further value and adoption. Why is Request to Pay (R2P) such a hot topic in the industry? R2P is already a wellestablished use case for driving further growth in real-time payments, based on the benefits it brings for the entire payments ecosystem from consumers to merchants, banks, acquirers and billers. The process consists of a digital request that the payer receives on their mobile device, usually on a banking application or third-party fintech
real-time due to a lack of services and use cases, but R2P could solve this.
By Dean Wallace, Director of Product Management, ACI Worldwide Find me at Money 20/20 Europe on the ACI booth to learn more about revolutionary real-time payments and value-added services
application, then the payer either approves or rejects the request and, if approved, automatically initiates a real-time credit transfer to the payee. R2P is said to be the next upgrade in real-time digital payments where merchants, billers, corporates and even consumers can pull payments from end payers and customers. Pull payments are the missing link in the current real-time ecosystem for Europe. Currently, merchants and billers often miss out on the benefits of
How can merchants and billers benefit from R2P? Consumers across Europe have become familiar with the speed and convenience of real-time payments for P2P and account transfers. But when it comes to purchasing experiences, many of these still lag behind. For merchants and billers, the use cases which could benefit from R2P are endless: recurring bills and subscriptions, utilities or variable bills (i.e. telco services or utilities providers), government taxes and financial plans like instalments for large purchases. Besides these variety of use cases, merchants will see cost and risk efficiencies, while providing a safer, more reliable, and trusted solution for customers. But merchants themselves cannot make this happen without PSPs (payment service providers) and acquirers, who need to offer R2P services too. Why should acquirers offer Request to Pay? Real-time payments have proven themselves the cash-killer, capturing these
volumes and transitioning them to digital transactions. But without a way to accept real-time payments at POS or in ecommerce scenarios, acquirers are missing out on these volumes. And traditional bill payments via Direct Debit circumvent acquirers altogether. With Request to Pay, acquirers and acquiring banks can offer an alternative, digital mode of payments acceptance to the end merchants, billers and corporates that provides businesses real-time visibility of their incoming payments while lowering transaction costs, fraud and disputes. R2P creates an opportunity to capture a rapidly growing volume of net-new transactions. With R2P, acquirers will be able to target new customer segments while providing new payment methods to existing customers to protect their current customer base. Furthermore, Request to Pay provides merchants with improved liquidity and transaction reconciliation.For all these reasons, Request to Pay is one of the key value-added services in the acquirers’ real-time payments solutions.
How will R2P drive the growth of real-time payments in Europe? To provide a business case, all investments in new payments services must balance innovation with anticipated adoption levels. In Europe, adoption is also being reignited with the European Payments Initiative (EPI), which has an ambition to become the new standard for payments in Europe by creating a unified, innovative, pan-European payments solution leveraging SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) and Request to Pay. This will include offering payment instruments to consumers and merchants across Europe, such as payment cards, digital end-to-end real-time payments, peer-to-peer (P2P)
R2P is set to be the driver of the next wave of innovation in real-time and payments players cannot afford to miss out payments and a digital wallet. The solution will also serve consumers and merchants across all types of retail transactions including in-store, online, cash withdrawal and P2P, and become an alternative to existing international payment solutions and schemes. EPI will use the latest standards and technology. Real-time payments will be at the core of the EPI services, using the SEPA SCT Inst standard and
infrastructure. R2P services, in combination with EPI and other initiatives in the region will drive adoption of new alternative payment methods that will ultimately ride the real-time rails. How should payments players prepare for R2P? R2P messaging services may be embedded into schemes or overlaid onto rails, but either way participants need an end-to-end Request to Pay solution that supports the standards for R2P processing, delivers value through additional business services and provides ‘final mile’ connectivity through digital overlay services. R2P is set to be the driver of the next wave of innovation in real-time, and payments players cannot afford to miss out.
About ACI Worldwide ACI Worldwide is a global software company that provides mission-critical real-time payment solutions to corporations. Customers use our proven, scalable and secure solutions to process and manage digital payments, enable omni-commerce payments, present and process bill payments, and manage fraud and risk. We combine our global footprint with local presence to drive the realtime digital transformation of payments and commerce. Website: www.aciworldwide.com LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/aci-worldwide Twitter: @ACI_Worldwide
TRANSACT PAYMENTS: THE FUTURE
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE EUROPEAN PAYMENTS LANDSCAPE? With Money 20/20 kicking off, what big trends do you think will affect fintech in the coming years? Transact Payments (TPL) has recently released a white paper that reveals several of the key trends that are going to affect the fintech industry in the coming years. Its findings map out how both the UK and specific countries in the EU will experience ongoing innovation in the coming years. The UK is likely to retain its position as the leader in payments technologies in Europe, thanks to its highly developed market with many digital-savvy consumers and a forward-thinking regulator. More significantly for the UK, it looks as if it will pursue a strategy of 'smart divergence' from EU
The Fintech Times speaks to Transact Payments CEO, Kriya Patel, about the future of fintech legislation, effectively giving it the best of both worlds – adherence to EU regulations where that makes sense, and the flexibility to diverge from these rules for commercial benefit. Elsewhere, the German market will start to reap the rewards of embracing EU’s Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2),
wholeheartedly. This will be especially noticeable in the SME sector, which has historically struggled to access credit and flexible banking services. New specialist lenders are coming to the fore in this sector by using open banking to prove the creditworthiness of smaller companies. We also expect to see a growing number of partnerships between fintechs and banks enabled by shared APIs. SMEs will also be the big winners in Spain, where credit products will flourish in the digital channel. These products will also trickle down into the consumer market too. In light of these trends, what do fintech players also need to keep top of mind? There are a number of
significant opportunities for fintechs operating within Europe at the moment and speed to market is essential for those that want to take advantage. The situation is ever-changing so in order to succeed, fintechs must be able to quickly identify the opportunity and react appropriately by creating the right products – and fast. Even for lean, agile teams this is too much to do in-house. In order to innovate and create marketready solutions partnerships will be key, so finding a partner with the right experience is essential. It's also vital for fintechs to ensure that they pick a partner that offers them the flexibility to meet the specific needs of all the markets they operate in, and power all of the functions
required by the products that they offer to customers. There are many issues to consider, such as compliance, programme management, FX and so on. A 'one-size-fits-all' approach will not be appropriate. Flexibility – for issuers and their partners – is what is required. TPL predicts that the Nordics will become the first markets in the world to fully realise digital transformation in payments, why do you think this? The Nordic markets of Sweden, Denmark and Norway have embraced electronic transactions more enthusiastically than any other regions, with higher penetration of this type of transaction than anywhere else in the world. Much of this is down to the role of BankID, the consumer-permissioned digital ID system that makes the necessary know your customer (KYC) checks for e-commerce providers very quick and simple. Additionally, the Nordics has always been ahead of the curve with peer-to-peer payment services such as Sweden's Swish and the adoption of digital wallet solutions. As digital wallets continue to grow after their introduction in 2015, card payments are used for a very wide range of purchases and there will be a further reduction in the use of cash for every day, low-value purchases. With street vendors and parking services increasingly accepting digital payments, mPOS (mobile point of sale) and soft POS systems providers will become increasingly prolific, as will multi-function card products. All of these factors put the Nordics in prime position to be the first
region to fully realise digital transformation in payments. Why did TPL feel it was the right time to release such a white paper? The payments industry has gone through a period of unprecedented change in recent years, with the rise of open banking driven largely by the introduction of PSD2 regulations, particularly Access to Account (XS2A). The market is moving
hard pressed to recognise today’s payments industry: in the last half decade, we’ve seen the advent of open banking legislation and PSD2, plus the impacts of Brexit and Covid-19. In case that’s not enough, we’ve also dealt with the rise of digital and mobile payments, contactless cards, biometric security and wearable payment technologies. Taken together, these forces are completely transforming
In order to innovate and create market-ready solutions partnerships will be key, so finding a partner with the right experience is essential quickly, significant new players are emerging more quickly than ever before and consumer behaviour has changed too, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many more payments now made electronically as the use of cash dropped dramatically. Many businesses, too, have been forced to change their operational models in order to adapt to the lockdowns and restrictions necessary to control the spread of coronavirus. TPL felt it was the right time to highlight some of the key market trends that have been created by these conditions in order to help make sense of everything that has been going on, as well as make accurate forecasts about what lies ahead for the industry. TPL’s partnerships with a number of leading fintech players give the organisation a unique insight into many of the most innovative products and solutions that are coming to market.
our industry. Take e-commerce, for instance: Covid-19 saw a huge rise in e-commerce as people shopped from home at the same time as PSD2’s requirement for strong customer authentication (SCA) brought about a wholesale change in security for online
shopping. Just five years ago, people shopped online for books, music, flights and clothes. Now they shop for everything online – and they bank online as well. While significant challenges remain in the months and years ahead, we believe that great opportunities exist for all kinds of organisations issuing new payments products across Europe, from governments to banks and non-financial companies. Taking advantage of these opportunities is going to require flexibility, as well as a combination of technical excellence, regulatory expertise and flawless execution. In what follows, we offer a brief overview of some of the opportunities we see in Europe’s major markets and regions, together with links to our free, in-depth case studies on these markets. Visit www.transactpaymentsltd. com to read our white paper.
About Transact Payments At Transact Payments, we have built a reputation as experts in payment and card solutions. We provide innovative and flexible UK and European BIN sponsorship, modular payment, debit, credit and prepaid services. We are a licensed UK and European e-money institution, regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, Malta Financial Services Authority and Principal Members of both Mastercard and Visa. CEO Patel oversees all aspects of the operations, IT, business development, marketing and PR, client implementation, relationship management and
supplier management for TPL. Prior to serving as CEO, he was European sales director at The Bancorp and COO of Newcastle Card Solutions. Patel is also currently chairman of the Gibraltar E-Money Association, a representative of the Gibraltar Finance Centre Council and an ex-advisory board member of the Emerging Payments Association, a payment industry association based in the UK. Website: www.transact paymentsltd.com Twitter: @TPL_eMoney LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/transactpaymentsltd
How should organisations navigate the new landscape in European payments? A visitor from 2015 would be
THE FUTURE OF BANKING More and more customers expect a forward thinking g banking g service
By Eugene Danilkis, CEO and co-founder at Mambu The financial technology industry has disrupted and led the innovation in banking. In the first half of 2021, the UK hit a new investment record of almost £18billion, placing it second behind the US. Global fintech investment also rose to £71billion. Driving this precipitous growth has been the fintech industry's ability to remain agile to changing consumer needs, and constantly improving its product offering. ETHICAL BANKING Consumers are increasingly demanding that their banks behave ethically. This is especially true for the Millennial and GenZ generations for whom the environment and sustainability practices are paramount. The emergence of ‘fintech for good’ has seen younger generations move towards these purpose-driven banking services that benefit society and the environment. A recent Mambu report looking at the attitudes of young Muslims towards Islamic banking found that three in four young Muslims want their
banks to make investments that ‘do good in the world’. More specifically, two thirds are opposed to their bank lending to tobacco companies and 69 per cent would rather their bank not lend to gambling institutions. As consumers demand that their banks become more ethical, we will see the rise of fintechs that cater specifically to this market, and traditional financial institutions will need to offer and demonstrate how their products and services have a positive impact on society and the planet. COMPOSABLE BANKING Traditionally, even the simplest banking service is made up of a complicated mix of core banking systems, transaction processing, decision reporting, authentication, and more. As customer needs evolve, nimble Cloud-based challengers swap components in and out, and adapt their products and services quickly. Incumbent banks, on the other hand, rely on closed legacy core systems not designed for integration and communication with other systems. This leaves them unable to take advantage of new technologies. Composable banking enables financial institutions to move away from that inefficient model. It selects technologies and processes around customer journeys by mixing and matching different systems to create better user
experiences, and easy-to-use financial products. Within this model, highquality, well-documented APIs are the essential connectors. APIs are the bonds that connect different systems on a single database, allowing companies to better engage partners and the stakeholders in their ecosystem, monetise data and provide customers with better ways to manage their money – giving them freedom, options and control. Any bank that cannot adapt to change, won’t be equipped to respond to market competition and the unpredictable macro environment – such as the impact of Covid – or new technologies from fintechs. THE RISE OF OPEN BANKING The open banking revolution has been slow out of the gate, but is primed for success. With the right support from banks, coupled with the tech acceleration of the pandemic, its potential for radical change and growth within finance is still vast. According to Mambu’s survey, half of consumers feel their banks dropped the ball when introducing open banking and 49 per cent believe their bank did not explain the benefits. Financial institutions have to invest time and resources to predict what tools and support their
customers need so they can offer the right help, at the right time. It means placing the customer at the heart of development strategies so they feel empowered and in control, as well as working within an ecosystem of complementary partners to offer best-in-class services. BIG TECH AND BANKING As big tech companies become more engrossed in payments, we will see the distinction between fintech and banking disappear. Tech companies will provide banking experiences akin to Netflix or naturally embedded in their services, with the traditional blue-chip banks standing as the trust token in the background. For instance, if Apple and JP Morgan opened a bank together, it would be known as the Apple Bank. JP Morgan would ‘only’ be bringing the trust token and liquidity to the table. The entire customer experience would be defined by Apple allowing it to capture the majority of the value and integrate additional high-value services on top of a commodity banking experience. Banks must continue to invest in innovative solutions and redesign their customer journeys, products and services by taking advantage of new technologies.
BREAKING DOWN MULTI-CURRENCY BARRIERS To offer multi-currency y capabilities you must prioritise simp plicity y, ease, autonomy y and customer experience, says Charles McManus, CEO at ClearBank
The ever-growing nature of global connectivity and the necessity to shop online throughout the pandemic has resulted in many consumers turning to e-commerce; transacting with businesses on home soil and global retailers alike. Despite the expansion of global e-commerce, one barrier remains for many – the friction of transacting in multiple currencies. The multi-currency problem The continually evolving use cases for e-commerce and cryptocurrency across generations, remittances and post-Covid international travel is intensifying the need for fintechs to offer robust, reliable and cost-effective multi-currency capabilities to their users. However, historically, incumbent multi-currency partners have created a monopoly, resulting in an unavoidable lack of choice for fintechs, particularly when it comes to the operational aspect of the value chain underpinning their offering. Options for fintechs are often expensive and not only become a burden on budgets, but also come with slow back-office and front-end tech and processes. In addition, implementing this multi-currency capability into systems can often prove to be complex, making scaling a challenge at a later stage of the fintech’s journey. These cumbersome processes often lead to an assumption that
multiple partners will solve the inherent challenges. Aside from the difficulties in implementing and scaling existing multi-currency offerings, once in place, they are synonymous with poor customer experience – fintechs often have a lack of visibility and control, while end users navigate slow interfaces and payment processing. However, not all multi-currency offerings are created equal and there is a way to offer a simpler, scalable and easier to manage system to support fintechs as they meet the growing demand for international transactions. Navigating the problem Thanks to API-driven or bankingas-a-service (BaaS) solutions, fintechs can begin to address problems across three key areas: Enhancing customer experience: for any business, customer satisfaction is paramount. In order to create a better multi-currency offering, it’s vital that fintechs can improve customer experience. API-driven and BaaS solutions can provide fintechs with vital enhancements to multi-currency offerings through features, such as real-time foreign exchange updates and improved customer experience (CX) with simplified mechanisms. Simplifying operations with an effective API base: the
difficulty implementing, scaling and maintaining multi-currency solutions is often a result of the need to work with multiple service partners, all using various software types. To refine and simplify operations, fintechs can work with BaaS solutions, allowing them to work with one partner instead of multiple service providers, as true BaaS providers have the necessary resources and permissions to conduct all elements of a multi-currency offering. In addition, the use of an API-driven base makes implementation, scaling and maintenance simpler and more refined. Giving fintechs greater autonomy and visibility: working with only one service provider can offer a true partnership and give fintechs greater control. As a result, fintechs will have improved visibility over their services, without the need to jump through multiple hoops to truly understand the provider they are working with and how the solution works. This will, in turn, let fintechs offer a higher calibre of service to their customers. The domino effect A robust multi-currency offering benefits fintechs, however, the real benefits are felt by their customers. One advantage of more competitive and customer-centric multi-currency accounts is that users can minimise additional charges that may incur from having
various bank accounts across multiple currencies, such as fees when money is moved between accounts and currencies are exchanged. Another key benefit is the ability to effectively manage foreign exchange. A single currency account may be unable to receive foreign currencies, meaning it’s possible that users can lose money if the exchange rate is unfavourable. However, a multi-currency account enables users to receive various currencies, meaning they won’t be susceptible to losses due to the present exchange rate. When it comes to building international supplier relationships, users of multicurrency accounts can easily pay suppliers in their own currencies, without the need to incur additional costs or navigate various complexities. Enhancing the multi-currency offering Those offering multi-currency capabilities must prioritise simplicity, ease, autonomy and CX. API-driven and BaaS solutions can assist by refining the unseen value chain that fintechs navigate on behalf of their customers, emphasising cost and operational efficiencies; passing these savings on to their increasingly global user base. Website: www.clear.bank LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/clear.bank Twitter: @clear_bank
QATAR FINANCIAL CENTRE DRIVES INNOVATION
Enabling fintech firms to explore growth opportunities in Qatar and the wider region Qatar continues to witness a remarkable period of economic and business growth despite Covid-19. With the country’s economy set for tangible growth, there are ample opportunities for global firms to venture into the Qatar market and become part of a flourishing business landscape. To this end, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, offers a range of benefits and support for firms wishing to set up in Qatar. International firms find it very easy to register on the QFC platform as it provides a one-stop-shop for licensing, commercial registration, immigration and related services; a fully digitised incorporation procedure; and a simple visa and employment process. Firms within QFC enjoy up to 100 per cent foreign ownership, 100 per cent repatriation of profits, 10 per cent corporate tax on locally sourced profits, an extensive double taxation avoidance agreement network with over 80 countries, the right to trade in any currency, and working within a legal environment based on English common law. More than 1,100 firms have registered on the platform and continue to benefit from the array of services extended by the QFC.
With Covid-19 accelerating the ongoing digital transformation, the importance of embedding technology into mainstream business practices as a way to achieve sustainable economic development has been accentuated and magnified. With the advent of a new business context, proactive technology adoption across the entire business spectrum in Qatar has been profoundly underscored. Both the public and private sectors have started to seek tech-based solutions to meet the rising demand from constituents, capitalising on the emerging opportunities spanning across many areas, including digital financial solutions. Qatar has made considerable progress towards developing a sustainable and competitive fintech ecosystem to enable innovation and growth for local and international fintech firms. Qatar Central Bank has put fintech on its strategic agenda by establishing a fintech section, developing a regulatory sandbox, and addressing various fintech regulations, all aimed at enabling fintechs to test and develop new products and propositions. Qatar has launched a fintech incubator and accelerator programme, and continues to expand connections with fintech communities as well as leading
global partners to exchange expertise and best practices. QFC, which serves as the designated sector developer and supporter of the fintech ecosystem in Qatar, has recently designated fintech a strategic priority. A new QFC fintech service provider definition emulates that of the Financial Stability Board and services include cybersecurity solutions, APIs over the internet, Cloud computing solutions, blockchainbased technologies through applications of distributed ledger technology, facilitating real-time transaction capability of internet-connected devices, offering innovative ways of delivering computing resources, including data storage, software processing, email handling and developing algorithm-based portfolio management, personal finance management and budgeting tools. QFC welcomes firms from around the world with innovative solutions to set up in its premises and supports qualified fintech prospects to access the market with its enabling platform and tailored benefits. With key stakeholders taking steps to stimulate innovation and growth, Qatar’s fintech ecosystem has grown and evolved with an increasing number of local and international fintech firms emerging.
Some successful examples include SkipCash, a home-grown mobile payment startup that offers a convenient experience throughout the payment journeys for both consumers and merchants by enabling consumers to make digital payments using a proprietary QR code, reducing the need for cash, physical cards and point-of-sale devices. Dibsy is another promising fintech startup, which aspires to change the landscape of payments, banking and make payment processing simple. CWallet, Qatar's first and only mobile app to facilitate banking via blockchain technology, is another thriving fintech firm registered on the QFC platform. In addition, an increasing number of firms have entered Qatar’s market by setting up at the QFC platform since the start of the pandemic. Their success stories begin with an easy and speedy registration process, which QFC has enabled through its business-friendly platform. Interested firms are encouraged to contact QFC’s Financial Sector Office team, share their activities and business models, complete the online application form and provide the required supporting documents, obtain licensing approval, and start operation.
See the Big Picture in Real-Time Payments Prime Time for Real-Time 2021 Global Report 48 markets. 1 essential report. Gain insights from countries around the world to see how each is preparing for the future of real-time. Download this exclusive report to learn: • The key real-time success drivers for today’s leading corporations and central infrastructures • How markets are overcoming barriers with emerging innovations • The impact of COVID-19 and growing fraud risk • Ways financial institutions can promote greater adoption of real-time payment methods
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AI-POWERED IDENTITY VERIFICATION State-of-the-art technology as a weapon against financial crime reduces onboarding complexity With the global pandemic, digitisation has accelerated tremendously. Many industries were forced to close branches and stores and move to fully digital channels for onboarding users to their service. This has resulted in two new trends over the last year. Firstly, a broader target group has become accustomed to digital processes and digital natives require a digital onboarding for many services. This is a demand that modern companies must meet if they do not want to lose the key target groups of the future. An easy, intuitive and seamless user journey is a requirement for customer experience in today’s digital first world. Secondly, the push to digitisation has led to an alarming spike in cybercrime. According to recent reports, 30 billion data records were stolen in 2020 – more than in the previous 15 years combined. So, how can companies balance both trends and ensure higher security while providing an easy, seamless flow where users can onboard within minutes to open a new bank account, log in to their insurance portal document, or rent a car?
THE VERIFICATION PROCESS Companies have had to deploy innovative technologies that deliver complete protection without hampering that intuitive experience. A critical part of doing this is via online identity verification. Consumers expect digital onboarding to be performed in real-time while still safe, secure, and easy to use. However, because businesses are dealing with sensitive personal information, they must deploy technology that guarantees safety as a priority. Primarily, the focus must be on ensuring the right level of security, that the systems are robust, and that they are quick and efficient, in a manner that can scale and support, rather than undermine, the overall customer experience. The know your customer (KYC) process aims to ensure that customers are genuine. It also assesses and monitors risks that are an integral part of preventing and identifying money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities, such as identity fraud. The digitisation of KYC procedures has revolutionised how institutions verify and validate a customer's
ID, and how they now leverage biometric data to perform these checks within minutes versus hours or days. New technologies are meeting the requirements of both regulators and market players in the digital era. One example of this is IDnow's new AutoIdent solution, which employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to check a user's ID card data, check security features, like holograms, and perform a biometric check between the ID card and the user's face via a smartphone or computer. The automated solution is AML Act compliant (even in Germany) and meets all relevant security requirements and beyond. It serves a wide range of industries and use cases, such as opening a bank account, signing a loan agreement, or onboarding a player for online gaming. Taking advantage of a qualified electronic signature (QES) or, for some regulations, an existing online bank accounts of the user, it seamlessly blends state-of-the-art technologies with existing identity and banking data into an easy, secure, and fully compliant identity verification process.
Consumers expect digital onboarding to be performed in real-time while still safe, secure, and easy to use
About IDnow IDnow is a leading identity verification platform in Europe with a vision to make the connected world a safer place. The IDnow platform provides a broad portfolio of identity verification solutions, ranging from automated to human-assisted from purely online to point-of-sale, each of them optimised for user conversion rates and security. Over the past few years, IDnow has expanded its role far beyond offering individual ident procedures and has become the overarching platform for digital identities with several million transactions per year. In 2021, IDnow acquired the French market leader in identity technology, ARIADNEXT, as well as German identity Trust Management AG. This enables IDnow to expand into new industries and offer its services to a broader customer base in Europe. The company has offices in Germany, the UK and France and is backed by renowned institutional investors, including Corsair Capital and Seventure Partners. Its portfolio of more than 670 international clients spans a wide range of industries and includes leading international players, such as, Western Union, UBS, Commerzbank, Sixt and Munich Re, as well as digital champions like N26, Solarisbank, wefox and Tier mobility. Website: www.idnow.io Twitter: @IDnowGmbH LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/idnow
HOW DO WE DISCOVER UNEXPECTED PARTNERSHIPS? In an increasingly competitive landscape, partnerships continue to stand out as the ultimate solution. Business leaders seek collaborations to gain complementary access to new markets and channels between partners or strengthen innovation and ideas through shared intellectual properties and infrastructures. Partnerships can bring benefits to businesses, no matter whether they are strategic or unexpected, so the key challenge is to find the right partner to achieve the fullest potential. But how can companies, with layers of leadership and management, continue to knuckle down and find the partners that matter? What is the importance of unexpected partnerships, and how can companies find them? To me, it’s simple. If you look at the last 18 months, the world, and every single business, has been plunged into challenges that they’d never imagine having to face. Something remarkable to many of us, as we start to come out of this global crisis, is the sheer creativity, collaboration and campaignfor-cause that every business has been through to survive. But we shouldn’t need a crisis to create innovation; the potential has always been there.
By Siri G. Børsum, Global Vice President of Finance Vertical Eco-development & Partnership, Huawei Consumer Business Group With unexpected partnerships comes accidental innovation – a guide into unknown territories, improved user experience and creative development. At this year’s Money 20/20 Europe conference, we will pick apart the ways that big techs are tackling these questions. Strong leadership, open minds and a strong sense of direction Something that continues to stand out, time and time again, is strong leadership. With great leaders, you have a team of individuals that is unafraidto share ideas and recommendations. Different minds bring different solutions and partners to the table. It’s with strong leadership that the importance of an open mind becomes apparent. The whole concept of an unexpected partnership implies an element of risk in finding it in the first place. With risks come failures,
and the ability to accept them, move on and achieve new heights. This is where we must look at direction. Having a clear, definitive direction and strategy is at the heart of everything. This not only keeps a company true to its core beliefs – but also offers protection when opening up to risks and new ideas. At this year’s Money 20/20 Europe, we’ll look at how tech businesses can use all three of these tactics to discover innovative opportunities through partnerships, looking at some of AppGallery’s fintech partners in Europe as an example. AppGallery – championing unexpected partnerships At AppGallery, we’re excited by unexpected partnerships. Over the last three years, we’ve been growing our platform built on partnerships that align with our core beliefs and values. Despite facing challenges, taking risks and exploring the unexpected, we’ve been able to work with 4.5 million incredible developers so far and are looking forward to welcoming more − however unpredictable − as the platform continues to grow. The results of securing unexpected partnerships and taking risks speak for themselves. It’s only been three years since AppGallery launched globally; on top of the ever-increasing number of developers we get to
work with, we’re also seeing more mobile users choose to explore our app offering. AppGallery offers global and local apps across 18 categories and is available in more than 170 countries and regions. We now have 550 million monthly active users globally, with 384.4 billion apps downloaded in 2020 alone. What’s more, we offer our partners access to Huawei’s innovative HMS Core – and, from June 2021, 141,000 apps worldwide have integrated with this technology. By bringing our platform to the table, we’re encouraging competition in this space. Competition and partnerships come hand-in-hand when striving for innovation, change or for access to a choice of digital financial services. Ultimately, this is AppGallery’s vision for the financial services industry – to provide every household, business and organisation with a choice of services. As we continue to explore the unexpected with our partners, we’re on the constant lookout for innovation. Please come and talk to the Huawei team at Money 20/20 – all ideas are welcome!
About AppGallery Website: https://developer. huawei.com/consumer/en/ appgallery LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ company/huawei-app-gallery
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